5 Comedy Gems You May Have Missed This Year
Unless you live in an underground bunker equipped with one of those Clockwork Orange eye-clamping contraptions, it’s pretty much impossible to see everything that comes out. So we’re guessing that many of you may have missed some of the year’s best comedies while you were busy living your lives to their fullest or whatever. Knowing how hectic life is, though, we took the time to at least narrow down that list to the five comedies you absolutely must find the time for…
Despite its unceremonious release strategy of getting plopped into a handful of theaters and released on video-on-demand with less fanfare than the average experimental one-person stage show, Confess, Fletch is a ton of fun. Jon Hamm is great as the quippy reporter first played by Chevy Chase, and the supporting cast is top-notch. In a just world, there would be more Fletch movies than Amityville Horror sequels.
A canceled YouTuber attempts to make a comeback by locking himself in a haunted house for the night, and things predictably take a turn for the worse. The first part of the movie is genuinely creepy and suspenseful, not unlike a 21st-century take on Ghostwatch, while the back half takes a left turn into Raimi-town, complete with goofy, over-the-top gore and frenetic camerawork.
Deadstream is never not funny, as the streamer (played by co-director Joseph Winter) somehow keeps his show going, even utilizing viewer comments for survival tips as he battles grotesque, unholy creatures.
I Love That For You
Vanessa Bayer is one of the funniest people on the planet, and we should all be watching her new show, I Love That For You. It’s an offbeat comedy about a woman who lands her dream job as an on-air personality at a Home Shopping Network-esque company, but only gets to keep it by lying about the return of her childhood leukemia (inspired by Bayer's own history with the illness). We also get Molly Shannon playing a veteran host who Bayer’s character idolizes – it’s not difficult to see this story as an allegory for going to work at Saturday Night Live, but with more terrible jewelry and rancid perfumes.
Documentary Now’ s “Soldier of Illusion”
There’s obviously no shortage of hysterical, shockingly accurate episodes of Documentary Now, the laser-focused parody series for obsessive film nerds. However, this year’s epic two-part season four premiere, “Soldier of Illusion,” written by John Mulaney, is arguably the show’s finest accomplishment. Alexander Skarsgård stars as a Werner Herzog-type German filmmaker in a riff on the acclaimed documentary Burden of Dreams, which chronicled the making of Herzog’s classic Fitzcarraldo. But instead of a cinematic masterpiece, director “Rainer Wolz” has trekked to the remote Ular mountains to film the 1980s sitcom Bachelor Nanny.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
Bodies Bodies Bodies was no doubt one of the mystery meats that went into this year’s cultural discourse sausage, but judging from its modest box office success, a lot of people still have yet to catch up with it. The movie doesn’t just breathe new life into the gothic murder mystery genre; it’s a hilarious satire about the perils of narcissism and the fragility of human connectivity.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).